25 Questions to Ask When Buying Renters Insurance

Fran
Fran Majidi
October 4, 2019

Renters insurance is one of the most underrated types of insurance out there. It’s also one that many people regret not having invested in until it’s too late. A renters insurance policy can protect you and your belongings in situations that you may not have ever anticipated. Take a look at the most frequently asked questions about renters insurance below, and you will see why you should get several free renters insurance quotes.

1. What is renters insurance?

Renters insurance covers personal property against damage or loss. It also covers liability if you cause others injury or property damage. If anyone is hurt in your home, you are covered for damages and injuries, just as you are covered if your dog bites a visitor. Renters insurance may pay for housing expenses if your apartment becomes uninhabitable for whatever reason (fire, roof damage, etc). Your landlord’s insurance would help with the cost of temporary housing too, but for the most part, a landlord’s insurance only covers damages to the building. Personal items, ranging from a bed and clothing to jewelry and laptops is your responsibility. Without renters insurance, you’d be on your own to finance a way to replace your items. You’re also covered by renters insurance if your rented home is broken into and vandalized or robbed. You’ll need to fill out a police report first, but renters insurance should cover you at least partially. Coverages and exclusions in a renters insurance policy vary from carrier to carrier so make sure to ask lots of questions and start shop renters insurance online.

2. How does renters insurance work?

Too often tenants assume that their landlords have insurance that would take care of their belongings if something terrible were to happen in a rented home, condo or apartment. Unfortunately, you are not protected by your landlord’s insurance, only the building and its structure are covered. Only renters insurance would cover your belongings in the event of a loss. Like homeowners insurance, a renters insurance is a very important protection everyone should have. It’s also very inexpensive, sometimes as low as $11 a month. Consider how much you’d save in out-of-pocket expenses if a sudden flood destroyed your laptop, clothes and furniture. Do you have a pet? If your dog bites someone who needs to get stitches, renters insurance would cover that bill. If your friend falls and chips a tooth while visiting your home, renters insurance would have that and other similar incidents and accidents covered.

3. How much is renters insurance?

Renters insurance usually costs anywhere between $11 and $50 a month, usually. It all depends on how much you own and if you add endorsements for especially expensive items like jewelry and antiques. Students are often covered up to 10% on their parents policies while in college, but dorm insurance is so cheap that you’re better off buying a complete policy which will only be a few more dollars a month. Your neighborhood affects renters insurance rates and so does the building type. Rates also vary greatly from state to state. The national average for an annual renters insurance policy is $188 but it can be wide ranging. For instance, the average in California is $202 while it’s a low $114 in North Dakota. To get the cheapest renters insurance rates, it’s best that you shop free renters insurance quotes here by entering your zip code.

4. What does renters insurance cover?

Broad form renters insurance covers fire, theft, explosion, lightning, smoke, vandalism and water damage from utilities. It excludes floods and earthquakes. You can buy flood insurance and earthquake insurance separately if you’re prone to these types of natural disasters. You can always add endorsements to a broad form renters insurance policy to increase the level of protection. A comprehensive form renters insurance policy costs a bit more but has higher limits and covers more. You can also add endorsements to increase your protection level. If you have any valuable items like expensive jewelry or art, maybe expensive gym equipment, you’ll want to add endorsements to your renters insurance policy to be fully covered for those items. Endorsements, riders and floaters can only be added to an actual cash value policy, not a replacement cost policy. The actual cash value policy will pay you out after a loss based on the value of that item on the day it was damaged/destroyed/stolen. You will only be paid what your 5-year-old television was worth the day of the incident, not for a brand-new television. With a replacement cost renters policy, you’d buy a new television, submit a receipt and the insurance company would pay for some if not all of the cost of the replacement television. You are, however, only covered for the same or similar model of what you had.

5. How to get renters insurance:

The best way to get renters insurance is by comparing renters insurance quotes online here. If you don’t shop and comparison shop renters insurance rates, you may end up paying too much for very little coverage. 

6. Does renters insurance cover theft?

Yes, renters insurance covers theft but you need to file a police report and submit that along with an inventory of your stolen items. It’s always a wise idea to create an inventory of your belongings before you purchase a renters insurance policy. Keep your inventory somewhere outside the home or on a cloud based storage system so it’s not destroyed along with your belongings.

7. How much renters insurance do I need?

You need as much coverage on your renters insurance policy as possible, especially if you own some expensive furniture, antiques, collectibles, gym equipment or high-end jewelry and gemstones. You can customize your policy according to the value of these items by adding endorsements to your standard renters insurance policy. It’s best to create an inventory of what you own along with receipts (if you have them) or URLs to similar or same product as the one you own.

8. Do I need renters insurance?

Increasingly, apartment complexes are requiring renters insurance. Even when it’s not required, you should buy a policy because a landlord’s insurance does not cover your belongings if a catastrophe strikes and your belongings are destroyed. A landlord’s policy doesn’t cover you if you are liable to a lawsuit. If you own a bicycle, renters insurance will cover it if it’s stolen. You need renters insurance if you want to get some money back if your current home is destroyed or something happens that damages your belongings. If your iPhone is stolen out of your car while you step out to the ATM, it would be covered by renters insurance (or homeowners insurance), not auto insurance.

9. Does renters insurance cover bed bugs?

Bed bugs are usually not covered by bed bugs and it does not cover standard maintenance issues that involve pests and various kinds of infestations. Roaches and rodents, mice, rats, termites and fleas are not covered by renters insurance. If you think you had bed bugs, you’ll have to pay for an extermination or buy a new bed.

10. Does renters insurance cover flood?

Flood and flood damage is usually not covered by renters insurance. Water leaks, however, are covered and so is the damage a burst pipe may have wreaked on your possessions. In order to be covered for flood damage, you’ll need to buy flood insurance. If you experience lots of flooding in the area you’re moving to, buying flood insurance is highly suggested.

11. Is renters insurance worth it?

You never know when something may happen that will cause you tremendous loss. For instance, if your apartment building or rented home burns down in a fire, you will not be compensated for your belongings unless you have renters insurance. You’ll have to replace all your things on your own and at your own expense. With renters insurance, you’ll be covered, at least partially, so you can start over. If your belongings are stolen while you are away from home, like a locked bike or a belonging left in the car, renters insurance will cover your loss.

12. Is renters insurance required?

In some areas like Orange County, CA, most apartment complexes require renters insurance. However, it is not required in many apartment community homes. Some homeowners rent out their homes and require a renters insurance policy on it by the renters but that is not always the case either. Even when renters insurance is not required, it’s worth the very small price tag. You don’t want to have no help at all if a sudden mishap destroys all your belongings. Plus, you’ll be covered for lawsuits and more. For multiple renters insurance quotes, visit here for competitively priced options from multiple insurers.

13. How much is renters insurance in Ca?

The average annual renters insurance premium in Ca is $202. A studio apartment can cost as little as $12 a month. Your renters insurance rate depends on many factors, including your neighborhood, the size of your home and the number of endorsements you choose to add onto a standard policy. California is also an earthquake prone state. If you choose to add earthquake insurance to your renters insurance policy, you’ll be paying more. If you do not choose earthquake insurance, your belongings will not be covered for damage or loss with your renters insurance policy.

14. Does renters insurance cover water damage?

Renters insurance covers water damage that is related to a burst pipe or a leak. It does not cover flooding.

15. What does renters insurance not cover?

Most standard renters policies don’t cover floods, earthquakes and sinkholes. Flood insurance is generally only available through the National Flood Insurance Program and for earthquake insurance, it can be bought either as an attachment to your current renters insurance, or as a separate insurance policy. If you live in a state with a high chances of earthquake you may need to acquire an earthquake policy. The same is for sinkholes, if you live in a sinkhole-prone state you can buy a sinkhole endorsement to your existing policy. Pests and bug infestations, like bed bugs and cockroaches, are not covered by renters insurance. There are limits to your policy so you need to buy endorsements for pricier items, like estate jewelry, gemstones, antiques, vintage furniture, and the like. If you have a roommate, it’s highly advised that they too get a renters insurance quote so they have their own complete policy, otherwise, not all of their belongings will be covered by your policy. You also are not covered for terrorism, nuclear war, vehicle damage, pets or accidental loss.

16. Does renters insurance cover car theft?

No, renters insurance doesn’t cover car theft but it will cover your belongings in the car if your car is stolen. Auto insurance won’t cover the contents of your car, only renters and home insurance will.

17. Does renters insurance cover fire?

Yes, fire is a covered peril with most renters insurance plans. You will have coverage for belongings that are lost as a result of a fire. Decide which benefits you more, replacement cost vs actual cash value for renters insurance. One covers you for the depreciated value, the other covers you for a replacement of a similar/same product up to limits but costs more. For multiple renters insurance quotes visit here.

18. Does renters insurance cover mold?

Renters insurance will cover mold damage to your personal property but only if the mold was caused by a covered peril. For instance, if your town flooded, you will not be covered for the mold caused by the flood, unless you have a flood insurance policy. In most cases, mold caused by water damage (standing water) from a burst pipe would be covered by renters insurance.

19. Where to get renters insurance:

The best way to buy renters insurance is to get multiple renters insurance quotes by visiting here.

20. Can a landlord require renters insurance?

Yes, a landlord or management company can require you to have renters insurance as part of your lease agreement. More and more apartment communities are beginning to require renters insurance.

21. Does renters insurance cover dog bites?

Yes, if your dog bites a neighbor or the mailman, you are covered to pay for their medical bills. You are also covered for personal liability if they try to bring charges against you.

22. Does renters insurance cover storage units?

Any property that you own that is covered with your renters insurance policy would be covered while in a storage unit. Clothing, furniture, books, appliances, electronics and jewelry would be covered in the event of a fire, tornado, or water damage from a leak (but not a flood).

23. Does renters insurance cover broken windows?

Many insurers will cover accidents, such as unintentionally breaking a window or starting a fire.

24. Should I get renters insurance?

Most people who rent should get renters insurance unless they own nothing. Even if you’re just making sure your bike is covered, you should buy renters insurance, but you probably have a computer, an Android or iPhone. Something.

25. Does renters insurance cover flood and earthquake?

No, renters insurance does not cover floods and earthquakes. In order to be protected against losses caused by these two types of disasters, you must buy separate policies for each.

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